RETALIATION

Coach wins $4M verdict after being fired for reporting hazing

07/17/2015
When the high school football coach at St. Patrick-St. Vincent High School in Vallejo, California learned that some of his players were hazing underclassmen, he reported it to his superiors. The high school investigated and expelled five students. It also fired the coach who reported the hazing. He sued the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento for retaliation.

Broad arb clause can cover bias, retaliation, too

07/17/2015
A federal court considering whether a broad arbitration clause included in an employment contract bars discrimination and retaliation claims has concluded it does. That’s good news if you use employment contracts and want to push any subsequent employment-related claims into arbitration.

Boss at unemployment hearing? That's not retaliation

07/13/2015
Generally, employees can’t sue their employers because of a personality conflict with a supervisor. Nor can they allege that it’s a form of retaliation for a disliked supervisor to show up in court in order to “torment” the employee.

Whistle-blowers need good faith, not proof

07/13/2015

When a New York City employee purports to report wrongdoing on the part of the city government, all that’s required is a good-faith belief that the alleged conduct constituted an “improper governmental action.” It’s illegal to retaliate against an employee who makes such a report.

Of gangs, G-Men and a dogged cop: Careful discipline prevails in court

07/09/2015

Employers that take their time to discipline troublesome employees who refuse to follow the rules often make out well if that employee later sues. That’s because they will have clear and unambiguous evidence that the employee deserved the discipline—not because he was a troublemaker, but because he couldn’t follow the rules others did.

Don't let peevish behavior tie you up in litigation

06/26/2015
Nobody likes a serial litigator, but don’t fall into the trap of punishing an employee for repeatedly filing lawsuits.

Don't let peevish behavior tie you up in litigation

06/26/2015
Nobody likes a serial litigator, but don’t fall into the trap of punishing an employee for repeatedly filing lawsuits. It could cause a retaliation suit.

After FMLA leave, watch timing of firing

06/09/2015
Generally, employees who take FMLA leave are only entitled to their job back if they are able to return to work right after their 12 weeks of time off expires. Imme­­di­­ately terminating the employee without a good reason may backfire, because it could be seen as retaliation for taking leave.

Don't tell harassed worker to 'move on'

06/08/2015

A new employee says her co-worker has sexually harassed her. You investigate and discover she’s telling the truth. You discipline the co-worker. Is that the end of the matter? Not if the new employee won’t stop talking about what happened and it’s beginning to interfere with her ability to get her job done.

Long list of EEOC complaints costs Chicago temp agency $800K

05/31/2015
A Chicago-area staffing agency that checked almost all the boxes on the EEOC’s what-not-to-do list has agreed to settle two lawsuits filed on behalf of temp workers.

Transfer usually not adverse employment action

05/29/2015
It’s illegal to punish employees for engaging in protected activity. But for an employer to be liable, the punishment would have to be significant. Minor changes in an employee’s job aren’t enough.

Leave harassment investigation to the pros

05/18/2015

There are compelling reasons to outsource or at least get legal help with a sexual harassment complaint. First and foremost, the investigation must be quick, thorough and reasonable. Employers that drop the ball and don’t punish what looks like a clear case of sexual harassment face a long, uphill battle in court.

Never retaliate for reporting safety hazards

05/18/2015
A federal appeals court has concluded that California employees are entitled to protection from retaliation for reporting safety hazards, even if it’s part of their jobs.

'Stop!' makes harassment complaint count

05/18/2015
Conventional wisdom says that employees who fail to report harassment can’t later surprise us with a lawsuit, since it’s impossible to stop harassment that we never learn about. It turns out that’s not always true.

Retaliation claim needn't be written or to DOL

05/06/2015

Employers aren’t supposed to retaliate against employees who file wage-and-hour complaints against their employers. For quite some time now, there has been confusion over two things: first, whether the employee has to make a written complaint, and second, whether the complaint has to be made to a governmental agency like the Department of Labor. Now the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers New York employers, has settled the issue.

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